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Matrices, Women of Design. Chapter 1: Origin and Activism, Online Catalogue

After the temporary closure of the exhibition, due to the global pandemic, IDA Foundation contributes with the creation of virtual activities by uploading the catalogue of the showcase presented at the Kirchner Cultural Center. > Download here <

As part of the Working Women’s Week “We Move the World”, the exhibition, co-organized by the Ministry of Women, Genders, and Diversity and the National Ministry of Culture, “Matrices, Women of Design. Chapter 1: Origin and Activism” will open at the Kirchner Cultural Center on March 4. Curated by Silvia Fernández alongside IDA representatives Marina Baima, Sebastián Rodríguez, and Wustavo Quiroga, the exhibition bears light upon the female creations throughout the history of Argentine design showing pieces and documents from more than 30 pioneer women in the field of design and two current design collectives.

“Matrices…”, produced after four years of research, develops within two connected cores, where past and present are linked and addressed from a federal perspective. The first of them, displayed in room 504 and entitled “Origin”, showcases the work of 31 women designers that produced between the 30’s and the 70’s. The presentation is organized in five different settings that represent consecutive historical moments. Three are the main branches of the discipline that guide the examination of this embryonic period: product and industrial, graphic and visual communication, and textile and garment.

In this section, the productive processes accessible to women designers are reviewed with the aim of understanding the ways in which these self-trained creators approached design guided by their talent and their personal interests. Seen retrospectively, the “modern” designers, whose creations were based in avant-garde theories and turned into early XX century manifestoes, rose. Another narrative analyzes the new meanings assigned to handcraft production by the creators that recover –and update- hand-made creations using local materials and practice self-production. Then, during the 1960’s, the spotlight moves to visual vanguards and the arrival of materials such as acrylic and PVC, both of which defined new ways of living and consuming. Finally, the exhibition addresses the professionalization process within the institutional and entrepreneurial spheres following the development of corporate images through systematic logics and mass production.

Meantime, room 505, named as “Activism”, approaches the present context and contemplates the future. This area shows work by Design Cooperative, the first professional, feminist association devoted to recovering enterprises and fighting for rights, and Hay Futura, a collective comprised by more than 150 women and dissident individuals that broke into the public scene with their own manifesto.

After the showcase opened, renowned media representatives —such as ARQ, Elle, L’Officiel, Infobae, and The Praxis Journal— highlighted its narrative proposal, original content, and collective development. Due to the present global pandemic, the exhibition was temporarily shut. For this reason, IDA Foundation is collaborating with the preventive actions by giving online access to the show’s catalogue, which was designed by studio ZkySky.

This exhibition includes creations by Victoria Ocampo, Grete Stern, Sonia Maissa de Landini, Lucrecia Moyano, Susi Aczel, Fridl Loos, Lidy Prati, Leonor Rigau, Celina Arauz de Pirovano, Colette Boccara, Celina Castro, Mary Tapia, Ana Van Ditmar, Rosita Bailón, Medora Madero, Dalila Puzzovio, Renata Schussheim, Ángela Vassallo, Josefina Ayerza, Fanny Fingermann, Margarita Paksa, Josefina Rodríguez Bauzá, Mónica Garate, María Luisa Colmenero, Gladys González, María Inés López, Ana María Haro, Margarita Marotta, Lala Méndez Mosquera, Eva Neuman, and Sara Torossian; as well as pieces produced by the collectives Design Cooperative and Hay Futura.


Place: Kirchner Cultural Center, Buenos Aires.

Curators: Silvia Fernández + Fundación IDA (Marina Baima, Sebastián Rodríguez, and Wustavo Quiroga).

Production: Mora Caraballo, Paula Lombardi, and Verónica Mercer.

Research: Agostina Casalet, Franco Chimento, Carolina Corti, Inés Courtiar, Cecilia Durán, Diego Gómez Acuña, Clara Encabo, Jorgelina Janco, Constanza Martínez, Sebastián Mur, María Sol Navarro, Emmanuel Pan, Mara Pagiari, Daniela Quintana, Jessica Tamara Rosser, Juan Ruades, Susana Saulquin, Mariel Szlifman, Kika Tarelli, Mariana Vidakovics De Victor, and Vanessa Zuin.

Graphic Design: Estudio ZkySky.

Digital Retouch: Damián Domínguez.

Fonts: Gabriella, by Fer Cozzi, and Bitter, by Sol Matas.

Institutional Collaboration: Trends Observatory, INTI.